In this essay I intend to evaluate and analyze Jean Piaget cognitive learning theories to the current educational environment and demonstrate the understanding of the reading assignments, class discussions, my research, and the application of the learning theories to the current educational environment. I believe that Piaget is one of the most influential researchers of all time, and he will always be the greatest theorist by far in the field of psychology, because he was best known for his research on children’s cognitive development and studied and theorized the biological influences.
Piaget brought a vast knowledge of understand in his era and his contributions were remarkable and profound and it relate to cognitive learning and an in my opinion there will never be other theorist that exemplifies the knowledge proficiency of this man. His cognitive theory of learning has truly benefited society as a whole because cognitive development relates to how a person’s understand and gather new and different information. He believed that what made human beings from other animals is the ability to do abstract symbolic reasoning and was interested in how an organism adapts to their environment.
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Piaget theorized that adaptation is driven by a biological drive to receive balance between schemes and the environment equilibration. He also theorized, that infants are born with schemes operating at birth that he called reflexes. Many people, especially infants use these reflexes to adapt to the environment around them. With Piaget brilliancy he identified the four stages in cognitive development and his theory described stages that children pass through in the process of development.
These stages of cognitive development, in which Piaget identified, are the Sensorimotor stage, Preoperational stage, Concrete operational stage and the Formal operational stage. I must say that I can truly relate to all four stages and all has impacted me and my family in so many ways. Firstly, I can relate to Piaget Sensorimotor stage and believe that his theory is very accurate because during this stage, an infant’s knowledge of the world is limited to their sensory perceptions and motor activities.
Piaget believed that behaviors are limited to simple motor responses caused by sensory stimuli and that children utilize these skills and abilities they were born with. These skills are sucking, grasping, looking and listening, while these children learn more about the environment in which they live. I have an 18 month old niece name Dynlya who is so adorable, and to my surprise every time I see her she has learned something new. I took her to see the lights for Christmas and she was so amused, she kept pointing her little fingers while saying lights, lights, lights Auntie.
Her motor skills were excellent, because when she was only six month old my little niece had a habit of following me around, with her little eyes everywhere I would go. I would put her in her inside her swinger and she would look at me while I was washing dishes. If I would sweep the floor she would watched me. It was like she was amused and attracted to everything that I would do. Now since, I have taken this course, I understand that she was learning from the environment that she was expose to. Secondly, the Preoperational stage begins when the child starts to talk to about the age of seven.
The child begins to use symbols to represent objects. The child is now better able to think about things and events that aren’t immediately present and the child thinking is influenced by fantasy, by things he like to be and the way he want things to be. The child takes in different information and changes it for his specification. This was one of our readings in the class and discussion. We learned that children has so many fantasies that goes on their little mind, and as teachers and especially we must take this into account , all the child’s vivid fantasies and undeveloped sense of time.
My grandson whose name is Daniel is four years and he has a great imagination. And sometimes I wonder if I let him watch Television to much because he is a fanatic of all the superheroes on television. But sense I have gotten educated on how A child develops and all of these stages, now, I know this is not something strange of in different, but it is only a part of the child’s cognitive development. My grandson goes around the house and makes all sorts of strange noises, impersonating his favorite cartoon character, who name is Spider man.
He actually tries to climb my walls and he slides down the stairs, all at the same time sing his little hands as though he is making a spider web. Next he turns into to Bruce Lee and let me tell you that when it get very interesting, I have to stop everything what I am doing just to look at the show he puts on. My Grandson frowns his face and goes to kicking and chopping things as tough he knows karate. He screams and yells to the top of his lungs with all the theatrics and drama of Bruce Lee.
He get the pillow and punches and kick it while he talks the pillow as if it is a human being, only fantasying in his mind that he has beat up the bad guy. Thirdly, Piaget theorizes the Concrete operational stage, and in this stage it usually takes place around through ages seven to eleven years of age. At this stage physical experience accumulates, and it is increased and develops when a child begins to think abstractly and develop and create logical sense of understanding and make rational judgments about what is observable in the environment and surroundings in which he or she lives.
For example my Niece is eleven years old and she had truly surprise me because she has develop in such a mature and intelligent manner for her age. I give her assignments when she comes over to my house a have mature dialogues with her and, it amazes me the answers that I get in return. She uses so much logic and good judgment, when she responds to me. For example, I was very concern about her leaving and going to the store by her self, because there had been several abductions in our neighborhood, therefore, I asked her “Erica, would ou ever go to a stranger, and before I could finish the sentence, she immediately said. No, Auntie I would never go to a stranger, I would kick yell scream and run. And then she asked me, “Do you think that I am stupid, I have enough sense not to even walk by myself to the store or trust any one that I see along the way to talk to them or get in their car. There are times when we have girl talk and we talk about the birds and the bees, and I am left speechless because of her logic and judgment that she uses.
I believe that every parent must address the issue of sex to there children at a young age, and they shouldn’t be afraid o to talk to them about sex or drugs. I sat down with Erica and I explain the importance of not smoking drugs and surround her self around positive people. I explain to her that even if someone offers her drugs or ask her sex, no matter whom that person is, that she should tell someone who she trust. She explained to me that she was aware of the epidemic of young girl getting pregnant at a very early age and the consequences that it causes, such as STD and in a lot of instances HIV.
She began to explain to me about different things that she had learned in school and how she was even a support in a former classmate who mother had got on drugs and abandon her at an early age; consequently the girl ended up in foster care and became pregnant by an older man. She explained to me that she helps the girl in school and always encourages her. Lastly in Piaget Cognititive theory of learning is formal operations that began at the age of eleven through fifteen, and the cognition reaches its final form.
And at that stage the child no longer requires concrete objects to make rational judgments. The child is very capable of deductive and hypothetical reasoning and has the capability to use abstract thinking that adults use. I believe that this last theory of learning is most profound, because this is the last stage cognition and the child now, thinks and acts the way an adult would behave. The child has now developed in adolescence and the child no longer requires objects to make good judgment, they are capable of using hypothetical and deductive reasoning.
Being such a loving and caring person I am, my concern is always about the well being of children; because that is the reason I choose to be a counselor and wanted to open up group home for children. I find myself always talking and encouraging the youth, not only in my church, but wherever I go. Not to long ago, I found myself in a situation where the well being of a child was at stake, and this fifteen year old girl was a victim of abuse therefore, she decided to run away from home.
Her parents were not good parents at all; they abused her mentally and physically. They told her that she would never amount to anything and that she was worthless. Her uncle sexually abused her at an early age and she was always taught that she was a bad person and that she was making the story up to cause problem with the family, and because of this the child had many emotional scars. I began to counsel the child and give her a sense of worth and let her know that she was fearfully and wonderfully made, and that her life was worth living.
I explain to her that no matter how bad she felt that she had greatness in her and she didn’t have to live on the street and from house to house with different people that she really didn’t know. Not less than one day this fifteen year old runaway was at my house ringing the door bell. She explained to me that she was tired of running and that she came to her senses and wanted to make a cognitive decision and turn her life around to be a responsible person, even though her life has not been favorable, she explain that she wanted to forgive her parents and uncle and make the best out of life and forget the past abuse and pain.
My heart was overwhelmed because of her maturity and willingness to forgive her parents and move on from this horrible nightmare in her life. This situation can truly be related to Piaget theory of formal operations. Because of the way this child made good judgment to come and talk with me and get off the streets, she truly used hypothetical and deductive reasoning, knowing this she came to a conscious decision that there was nothing good that would come to her by living on the street but death and destruction, and the only way to overcome, this negative situation was to humble herself, face her fears because there is help available.
The child has now developed in beautiful and loving adolescence and continues to make good judgment in her everyday affairs. In conclusion, Piaget theory consists of four stages of cognitive development, Sensorimotor stage, Preoperational stage, Concrete-operational stage and Formal operational stage and Piaget principles for intellectual growth and development was adaptation and organization for humans to survive in any environment. He theorized that they must adapt to physical and mental stimuli, and that assimilation and accommodation is apart of that adaptation process.
He believes that the mind is extremely organized and complex in various integrated ways. I must say that Jean Piaget has contributed immeasurable to the understanding and the development of learning in many children. I have truly learned a vast amount of knowledge from him and I can apply it to my everyday life of living and can relate it to every aspect of development in my own children and grandchildren lives. Piaget contributions will always be remarkable and profound and in developmental psychology his cognitive development because he caused a new revolution about how thinking develops.